Socialism, Euthanasia, and the Right to Health Care (July/August 1999)



Author: Thomas Dorman, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


In this essay, I propose to 'tour' the subject of privacy in our civilization, its importance and its pending destruction: Why does privacy matter? What should we expect from its destruction? Finally, does privacy in medical matters have a special significance? I will draw the conclusions that privacy is an extension of property rights; that respect for privacy, a bourgeois concept, is inherent in the success of our civilization and necessary for a thriving middle class. A thriving middle class represents the essence of Western civilization. The frontal assault on privacy is part of an assault on all the values of middle class society. We are living in a maelstrom of this assault. We are losing the battle. The end result is predictable. The end result will be not only a destruction of our...




Author: John E. Gardella, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


In the public debate over legalized euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, opponents of such measures often invoke the history of medicine in Nazi Germany as an example of the danger in these practices. Those who invoke the "Nazi analogy" suggest that the sanctioning of euthanasia could lead to the wholesale destruction of those whose lives are deemed valueless or burdensome to society. Supporters of assisted dying on the other hand refer to the "Nazi albatross," and argue that the modern understanding of euthanasia bears little resemblance to the Nazi program.(1) This paper will review the history of the Nazi euthanasia program, will review its historical roots, and will contrast Nazi "euthanasia" with contemporary proposals for assisted dying. Some writers, including Plato and...




Author: Robert P. Gervais, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


"Health care reform is phased in by population, beginning with children.... Kids First is really a precursor to the new system."(1) The "new system" which is being slowly and incrementally imposed on all of us is none other than socialism. The latter, as will be shown, is not limited to health care. To find evidence of this fact all one need do is peruse various government documents pertaining to daycare centers, schools and its associated school-based clinics, kidcare and labor to uncover that a variety of programs, primarily focused on, but not limited to children, are currently being implemented which will have the effect of propelling us towards the statist goal of a totally managed economy.(2) For statists, total control of society cannot begin too early. That is why California...




Author: Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: Editorial
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


All you skeptical physicians thought the only thing HCFA wants to recoup from you is money. An article in American Medical News tells us that "The E&M flap is the perfect opportunity for HCFA to recoup some of the physician trust it has lost over the years."(1) Of course the same article tells how a Medicare carrier, Connecticut General Life Insurance, demanded close to a million dollars in refunds from doctors in North Carolina because of a mistake made by the Medicare carrier. Sound familiar?(2) Also, under the "trust me" HCFA regime, doctors are routinely considered guilty until proven innocent, and even if a Medicare carrier is ultimately found to be at fault, the carrier never has to repay anything and never suffers an adverse consequence. We are told that "Carriers are held to a...




Author: Russell L. Blaylock, MD
Article Type: Editorial
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


As I picked up the front page of the USA Today in the doctor's lounge, an article caught my eye. The headlines read: "Health-Plan Cost to Soar This Year." Even though I was late to start my myelogram, I sat down to read this incredible headline. It reported that large health benefit plans' costs will go up 7 percent on average this year, almost twice the rate increase of last year. But, of even more interest, it is drastically higher than the 1.5 percent inflation rate. You may recall that the leftist demagogues of days past used this as a justification for the total eradication of the free practice of medicine. But, it gets worse, a survey by Towers Perrin, a human resources consulting firm, of 213 companies found that a faster pace of increases looms ahead like a specter on the land....


HMO


Author: P. Gardner Goldsmith
Article Type: Editorial
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


I've seen attack ships on fire off the shores of Orion... I've seen sea beams glitter at the Tennhieser Gate... All those... Moments... Will be lost now, Like tears... In rain. The above quote is from the film "Blade Runner," the motion picture adapted from Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It was a seminal science-fiction film with engaging intellectual content, a film that dealt with our perceptions of humanity and our treatment of those we view as inferior. The words belong to the primary antagonist, a "replicant" named Roy Batty. In the dystopian world of "Blade Runner," replicants are genetically engineered replicas of human beings. In other words, they are clones, and they are given limited, four-year life spans. Upon reaching the end of his, Batty shows...




Author: David T. Springer, MD
Article Type: Commentary
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


Managed care has been appropriately criticized for overt and hidden restriction of medical care conflicts of interest, invasion of the doctor-patient relationship, and greatly diminished confidentiality. Observing the increasing corporate takeover of medicine, many blame capitalism for the rise of managed care practices. Critics, however, fail to recognize health care today has few characteristics of a free medical marketplace. The practice of medicine is, in fact, constrained by an extraordinarily high number of regulations, making informed and free economic exchanges between doctor and patient a rarity. Distortions in the system include Medicare and Medicaid price controls and regulations, tax-advantaged employer provision of medical insurance, mandated insurance benefits, community...




Author: William Keller
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


Dear Dr. Faria, While sitting in a doctor's office in Phoenix, Arizona, I began to read a copy of your journal. I couldn't help notice the major theme of this particular issue (July/August 1998) encompassed the outrageous behavior of various government groups, particularly the DEA. An article written by Dr. Tad Lonergan was extremely interesting, especially since I knew Dr. Lonergan personally. I met Dr. Lonergan approximately 20 years ago in Anaheim, California when I was injured. Dr. Lonergan healed me and became my personal physician while I resided in the area. Over the course of several years I witnessed the expertise and kindness of Dr. Lonergan. The list of his unselfish deeds could fill several pages, but the bottom line is this physician takes the Hippocratic Oath seriously,...




Author: Wanda Velez-Ruiz, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


Dear Editors, While medical necessity standards should be based on generally accepted standards of medical practice, the AMA is incorrect to assign such responsibility only to "properly qualified independent" physicians, who should have the final say when differences arise between treating physicians and health plans (AMNews editorial, April 5, 1999). The AMA is incorrect because such independent medical examiners (IME) are no more than servants of the powerful, well-financed, insurance companies. Unfortunately, many of our peers want to supplement their income with this kind of work. Therefore, I strongly believe that the final say should be in a jury... IMEs cause benefits to be denied to many of my patients...In general, these IMEs have compromised opinions which must be in line with...


IME


Author: Nelson Borelli, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


Dear Editor, Many thanks to Mr. Andrew L. Schlafly, Esq. for the lucid discussion on the "Judicial Interference With the Right to Contract," (Medical Sentinel, March/April 1999). He (and rightly so) denounces the Judiciary's support for the government's interference in private contracting as "judiciary activism." That "interference" is just one of the many paternalistic actions of government which have been growing in the last few decades. We in the medical profession have been up in arms about this outrageous interference by third parties such as Medicare in the contractual relationship between patients and physicians. My question to Mr. Schlafly, the Medical Sentinel and the medical profession is: Whose fault is it? Who justified paternalism? The answer is: not the government nor the...




Author: Thomas Szasz, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


Dear Editors, Many thanks for your message. I am delighted with Dr. Borelli's thoughtful gift and look forward to receiving your publications. I am well aware of and greatly value, your activities. With Best Wishes, Thomas Szasz, MD Manlius, NY Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(4);117-118. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).




Author: Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


Dear Dr. Orient, HMOs have destroyed many long-term patient-physician relationships, they have created an ethical conflict of interest for physicians who must agree to withhold care to their patients for profit, and they have perpetrated the biggest scam of all time on patients whom they have promised "something for nothing." Managed care has unquestionably lowered the overall quality of medical care available today. But is this as bad as it gets? Recently, one of my patients required an EEG, which I arranged to be done at our local hospital. Imagine my surprise when the hospital technicians informed me that I, as the treating neurologist, would not be allowed to read her EEG. Because the patient was forced into managed care by her husband's employer, and I don't participate in any form...


HMO


Author: Compiled by Medical Sentinel Editors
Article Type: News Capsules
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


MSA Expansion Recognizing the problems of the MSA pilot project in the Kassebaum-Kennedy law (see Medical Sentinel, News Capsules, January/February 1999, p. 8, and "Expanding MSAs: Real Patient Protection," March/April 1999), Reps. Bill Archer (R-TX) and Bill Lipinski (D-IL) have proposed the Medical Savings Account Effectiveness Act (H.R. 614) which allows: any size company to offer MSAs; MSAs to be offered by cafeteria plans; both employers and employees to contribute to the MSA; MSA contributions to equal 100 percent of the deductible, and lowers the minimum deductible to $1000 for individuals and $2000 for families, according to the Small Business Survival Committee. This bill has a blue dog Democrat from Chicago as a co-sponsor and there are currently only 30 members of Congress as...




Author: Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: News and Analysis
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


Robbery: "It all depends how you define it" Cal Thomas says "I am not on welfare, nor do I receive any other direct payments from government. The bargain I have with government is that I send them up to half my income and in return they promise not to put me in jail" (The Post-Journal, March 7, 1999). "God asks for only 10 percent. The total government take is 50 percent." The reason, of course, that government takes half of your income is that government can't trust you to handle your own money. You're just too darn stupid. Government knows better how to spend your money on you. And, this massive confiscation of the fruits of your labor by government is all perfectly legal because government says so --- "legalized plunder." But, what happens when top government bureaucrats are asked to...




Author: James P. Weaver, MD
Article Type: President's Page
Issue: July/August 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 4


Getting old has its problems. The only real blessing is that it usually happens slowly. For me, at 57 years of age --- I've been fortunate --- it's just really beginning to happen. A few weeks ago, I visited my periodontist --- gum disease. I have a bad tooth near the back of my left upper teeth, and it needs some serious work. After she described the details of what she was going to do, I asked some appropriate questions including, "How much will it cost to fix that one tooth?" After a few silent moments of calculating, she calmly replied, "Oh, about $2,000." I couldn't believe it. That seemed like quite a lot for fixing a single tooth. But just to get a comparison to the work I do, I went back to my office and asked my secretary to check into how much Medicare sends me for fixing an...



It is now legend the AAPS legally lanced the secret task force and pulled its secrets...into the sunshine. It destoyed the Health Security Act.


The Oath of Hippocrates
and the Transformation of Medical Ethics Through Time


Patients within a managed care system have the illusion there exists a doctor-patient relationship...But in reality, it is the managers who decide how medical care will be given.


Judicial activism...the capricious rule of man rather than the just rule of law.


The largest single problem facing American medicine today is the actions of government...


The lessons of history sagaciously reveal wherever governments have sought to control medical care and medical practice...the results have been as perverse as they have been disastrous.


Children are the centerpiece of the family, the treasure (and renewal) of countless civilizations, but they should not be used flagrantly to advance political agendas...


Prejudice against gun ownership by ordinary citizens is pervasive in the public health community, even when they profess objectivity and integrity in their scientific research.


The infusion of tax free money into the MSA of the working poor give this population tax equity with wealthier persons...


It was when Congress started dabbling in constitutionally forbidden activities that deficit spending produced a national debt!


Does the AMA have a secret pact with HCFA?


The lure of socialism is that it tells the people there is nothing they cannot have and that all social evils will be redressed by the state.


Canada's fatal error — Health Care as a Right!


The Cancer Risk from Low Level Radiation: A Review of Recent Evidence...


...Moreover, the gun control researchers failed to consider and underestimated the protective benefits of firearms.


Vandals at the Gates of Medicine — Have They Been Repulsed or Are They Over the Top?